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Security Council deadlocks again on Syria chemical attacks
15 April 2018, 07:13 | Erica Roy
UN to vote three times on Syria as US and Russia duel
She said the United States "went the extra mile" to get Russian support for the resolution to ensure that a new investigative body would be impartial, independent and professional - provisions she said were not in the rival Russian resolution.
The Assad government and Russian Federation both urged the OPCW to investigate the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma, a move by the two countries that was apparently aimed at averting any US-led action.
Residents in the capital were also bracing for a potential response.
"Our decision will not target allies of the regime or attack anyone but rather attack the regime's chemical capabilities", he said, insisting he did "not want an escalation".
The Syrian government says US threats to attack it are "reckless" and endanger global peace and security. Trump on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the attack was established.
The votes came on Tuesday amid the war of words between United States and Russian Federation and a looming threat of a western military action against Syria after a report of suspected gas attack on the Syrian rebel-town of Dauma on Saturday.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, in a Facebook post later on Wednesday wondered if the chemical weapons watchdog investigating the reports has been warned that the missiles will destroy "all evidence" of the attack.
The United States, Britain and France have argued the incident bears all the hallmarks of a strike ordered by the regime of Russia's ally Assad, which has been blamed for previous attacks by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
"This has coincided with a request from the Syrian Arab Republic and the Russian Federation to investigate the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma". TASS news agency quoted him as saying he believed common sense would prevail.
World Health Organization also cited reports about the deaths of more than 70 people who sheltered in basements, saying 43 of those people who died had shown "symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals". The United States and other Western powers are considering taking military action over a suspected poison gas attack Saturday on a rebel-held Syrian town that long had held out against President Bashar Assad's forces.
Russian Federation rejected the findings on Syria's culpability and vetoed a Western-backed resolution in November that would have renewed the U.N. -OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism, or JIM.
"Whatever happens next has to abide by global law", Swedish UN Ambassador Olof Skoog told reporters on Wednesday, referring to USA plans for military action. Any plan by Washington and its allies to take military action was likely to be on hold until then, the source said.
"Due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and / or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours, and the possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, due consideration needs to be taken when planning flight operations in the Eastern Mediterranean / Nicosia FIR area", it said.
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